Friday, December 7, 2007

Feds to Santee Cooper: Don't Build that Plant!

The U.S Department of Interior wants Santee Cooper's proposed "coal campus" put on hold, according to a report in today's Post and Courier. Apparently even the Federal government feels that Santee Cooper (and DHEC, for that matter) has yet to perform an adequate analysis of the impact of this massive coal-burning project. From the article:

The Fish and Wildlife Service expressed its concerns about the plant in two letters obtained this week by The Post and Courier.

In a letter dated Sept. 11, Fish and Wildlife urged DHEC to make no decisions permitting any aspect of the plant until "a comprehensive and adequate review of the project and its affects to the environment, the atmosphere, and the quality of human life is conducted."

In a second letter, dated Oct. 3, the service said the project's air pollution emissions, particularly mercury and sulfur dioxide, pose threats to several state and federal wildlife sanctuaries, including the Cape Romain and Waccamaw national wildlife refuges.

The letter said much of South Carolina's coastal forest and the dune and marsh grasses in the Cape Romain refuge could be damaged by increased levels of acid rain due to the sulfur releases.

In addition, the letter urges DHEC to fully analyze the effects of increased mercury fallout from the plant into rivers already contaminated with enough mercury that the state warns people not to eat fish caught in some of the waters.

Read the rest of the article here. The Fish and Wildlife's service's concerns have been echoed by local residents in the Pee Dee. Will DHEC and Santee Cooper ignore them now in addition to the Feds?

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